When I was pregnant, Mr M and I used to like discussing how having a baby “won’t change us” – we weren’t going to become one of those couples who become ‘all about the baby’ at the expense of each other. We were determined that we would still exist as a couple in our own right and our whole identities wouldn’t be consumed upon becoming parents.
It was all very easy for us to say this back then – we naively thought that we had a choice in the matter. The truth is, when you have a baby demanding all of your attention, it is rather difficult to make ‘time for each other’.
The time you used to spend as a couple, gazing into each others eyes over a candlelit dinner that took you five hours to prepare (oh the days!), is replaced by frantically throwing together “whatever’s easy to cook!”, as you wipe the baby sick off your t-shirt, pick up the trail of toys strewn throughout the house (every room!) and tidy up the carnage that is the bathroom after ‘bath time!’ And then you finally flop on the sofa…”You can get the monitor…”
“No, you get it…”
Looking back now I wonder what we used to do with all of that time we used to have before becoming parents?? The days when I used to spend almost two hours getting ready for a ‘date night’, or would contentedly spend an hour browsing though cookery books, planning what new recipe I would cook for us at the weekend. Last week, we all went on holiday and I spent ten minutes packing for us, and three hours packing for Taylor.
But…despite the fact that having a baby most definitely did change our relationship, I like to think that we haven’t lost sight of who we are as a couple. Now that Taylor’s nine months old, it’s nice to have our evenings back and know that after 7pm, we can still enjoy ‘us time.’
Rather than big date nights or romantic breaks, it’s the little things that are important to us since becoming parents – like cuddling up on the sofa rather than browsing our phones, always kissing each other goodbye no matter how busy we are, and helping each other out when we need a hand.
We’ve also managed to maintain an okay social life since becoming parents, whether it’s taking Taylor out in her buggy when we go out for dinner, having friends around, or going on holiday – we’re still having fun together. Yes, our conversations over dinner usually revolve around Taylor (“I love it when she…”, “she was so cute today when…”) and we spent every evening of our holiday wondering a) when she was going to fall to sleep or b) when she was going to wake up, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
For me, one of the best things about being Mum, is always having Dad by my side.